Doze dias mais! & Thank You Notes

With only twelve days left before I depart for Bahia, I felt the need to update and offer thanks.
There is little time left to prepare, but I feel that I am almost there in terms of preparedness. The prescriptions for allergy medicines are filled, the doctor’s appointments have been made, and enough nice clothes have been purchased (…well, almost enough!). I have been practicing my Brazilian Portuguese everywhere, and listening to more Brazilian music in Portuguese than usual. Overall, I am trying to get into the mindset of another country and culture, and I hope my methods will help me get acclimated faster once I arrive.
What brought me to this point, however, was not just me alone. I had inspiration, support, and encouragement from a variety of sources. My professors from high school and the ones I have acquired at Morgan State University have been an immense inspiration and encouragement for me to endeavor on study abroad. From keeping me grounded into my goals, to challenging me academically and personally, without their words and actions, I doubt I would have had the courage or confidence in my abilities to embark on this trip.
My sponsors have graciously given me their financial support for study abroad, offers that most students do not encounter when they aim for study abroad, and for that I am immensely grateful. The CIEE has given me two scholarships, the GAIN Scholarship, and Robert B. Bailey Scholarship, both aimed at promoting “the participation in CIEE programs of individuals or members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad”. The Robert B. Bailey award was itself named in honor of Robert B. Bailey III, a former member of the CIEE’s Board of Directors and Professor of Sociology and Director of Study Abroad at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.  There is also the “Air Liquide Foundation Scholarship Program, established to recognize the achievements of and support children of U.S. based employees of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiaries (“Air Liquide”)
who are pursuing post secondary education.” This scholarship has supported me throughout my matriculation in college, and without which, I would not have the ability to remain focused on my studies instead of my funds. There is also the Morgan State University Honors Program, that has offered me a scholarship for my matriculation at Morgan State University in exchange for me maintaining a high GPA. They have also connected me to resources to obtain the funds for study abroad, as well as encouraging my pursuit of challenging courses and other academic enrichment. Lastly, the Morgan State University $5 Scholarship Initiative, created by President Dr. David Wilson and “inspired by Dr. Wilson’s father, an Alabama sharecropper who gave of his entire savings to support his son’s college education”. The scholarship provides financial support to incoming, transfer and continuing students in good academic standing, juniors and seniors cross-registered at Morgan and another institution, or students engaged in study abroad opportunities, like me. Without my sponsors, this trip would not be happening, and I owe my good fortune to them completely.
And I cannot forget the incredible efforts of my family, doing everything they can to support my heavy, far-reaching, and very, very big dreams!  My family has supported me in all of my academic endeavors, and this saturday, they are even throwing a huge going away party for my entire family to partake in and wish me well. So as I finish this week out and get ready to prepare for the weekend festivities, I wish you all a hearty boa tarde, and ate mais!


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